How to hype like a beast
Streetwear brands live and breath hype. You could say that other than the actual clothes, hype is the number one thing most, if not all streetwear brands trade off. How else do you think brands like Supreme can sell things like Supreme logo bricks, fire extinguishers and pinball machines for thousands of pounds? Or how brands like Palace and Patta can have queues snaking around the corners of their London stores nearly every week for the latest drops?
Yes, it’s partially to do with how nice their clothes are, but it’s mainly to do with just how much hype those brands have managed to generate about everything they do. To give you a bit more insight, we’re going to break down the four top methods streetwear brands use to get their customers as hyped as possible.
Tease on social media
Social media, predictably, is the vital to any streetwear brand in building hype for their latest drop. That’s because most streetwear brands; although firmly mainstream in appeal, rely on the idea of being at the cutting edge of fashion and what’s trending for that season. That’s why most streetwear brands reject traditional channels of fashion advertising like TV or glossy magazines and instead focus purely on social media, teasing new releases with look books and short videos on Instagram to get their fans geared up for an upcoming release.
And the tactic makes sense, because their Gen Z and Millennial target markets spend far more time on and are far more responsive to social media than ever before, which brings us to our next point.
Working with influencers
With social media fast becoming the main form of media that Gen-Z and Millennials engage with, it’s no wonder that the idea of celebrity itself is changing, with ‘influencers’ now becoming just as, if not more popular on social media as traditional sports or film stars.
With fashion influencers always at the forefront of what is considered cool, and with followings that can reach into the millions if not hundreds of thousands, what better way to generate hype for your brand than by getting a big name influencer to wear your latest drop, and have their thousands of fans associate your streetwear brand with one of the coolest fashion icon on Instagram?
For more on fashion and branding, read our interview exploring how BLOK London turned a gym into a powerful lifestyle brand, as well as our guides to the best streetwear influencers and the best sustainable fashion brands in the UK
The streetwear hype game is an oddly polarised one. On the one hand you want everyone to know about your brand, but at the same time you want to constantly give off the aura of exclusivity.
A great way to tick both of those boxes is by holding a secret launch party. You get to invite all the coolest influencers, press and celebrities to your store or a trendy bar or club, give them lots of free alcohol and get an impossibly hip musician, completely decked out in your latest gear, to perform to an intimate yet overwhelmingly fashionable crowd that you’ve arranged on the sly.
Then the day after, when Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is awash with videos, pics and details of your party, the people that were there and how painfully cool it was? Free publicity to millions of potential customers, while still never sacrificing your exclusive vibe.
Limited edition runs
But the ultimate way in which streetwear brands create hype for their clothes, is by simply not having enough to go around.
By only making a limited amount of each piece of clothing per drop, every garment becomes a collectors item, with fans desperate to get their hands on whatever they can each time a brand releases something new. It’s that scarcity that creates such huge snaking queues outside the stores, and what also creates such huge resell prices on eBay, Depop and at vintage markets.
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